Cultivating Resilience

Two weeks ago I wrote about our efforts as a staff to do what’s best for kids.  I keep thinking about this topic, and a related one—children’s mental health.  Daily I see articles about this subject, and have concerns that, amidst the focus on academic learning time lost, the mental health piece is not being addressed . . . Read More


Caring for Our Own

A devoted mother dove sits in the nest she built on a small shelf above the hose in our back yard.  She’s been there for nearly two weeks.  There were two eggs originally, and now there is one hatchling, whose eyes are still closed.  I don’t know what happened to the other one.  This mother . . . Read More


Always Sifting Sand

Over the past several weeks I’ve been writing about the playground.  I’ve described its activities, life lessons available, and all the reasons we place so much emphasis on our  extraordinary playground.  When I saw these three toddlers gazing out onto the big playground with a student intern the other day, with their similar bikes parked . . . Read More


Bringers and Builders

 During second recess when elementary kids are on the playground, most of the older students elect to play sports.  On Monday, due to a staffing shift that day, it ended up being a free choice recess.  Several of the 3rd and 4th grade boys headed off to Gwen’s Castle.  They decided to rebuild a fort they’d . . . Read More


Counting Carrots

Exactly a year ago today, I left for India.  It was an adventure that changed my life and is still with me.  The orange-pink sunrise, the smell of rose oil, and the flapping of prayer flags in my back yard all carry me back to India.  Lately I’ve been reflecting on the year that has . . . Read More


On Fire

A few days ago I read a plea for help posted on Facebook by one of our Seed alums. She’s living in Australia.  Her post included a stunning photo of a huge plume of smoke and an article describing the fire as big as Manhattan.  I thought about her post all weekend and decided we . . . Read More


Last Night We Were Brave

Although everyone is moving a bit slower this morning, we’re all feeling the glow of last night’s performance.  The amount of effort that goes into our winter solstice production is unseen by most of our audience.  The vision, patience, and practice that fill up our December weeks came forth last night as we offered an . . . Read More


K-4 at the Seed

 We want you to know about our exceptional K-4 program.  Although we’re just entering our fourth month of the school year, it will soon be time for making decisions about the future.  In order to help families make the most informed decision about elementary school placement, we are offering a K-4 information session on Wednesday, . . . Read More


A Story Line for Each Character

Since late August, I’ve worked with the 3rd/4th graders on their writing once a week.  At the suggestion of their teacher, we jumped into a form of writing that was new to me with this age group, development of a fictional character and creating a story around that character.  In the past, I generally stuck . . . Read More


Psychological Nutrients

The scent of basil is a sure sign that our nutrition study is  underway.  Coincidentally, as food nutrients dominated conversation in classrooms,  I came across a new term— psychological nutrients.  My ears and mind perked up, wondering what this idea could possibly mean.   It came to me in the same way I absorb most . . . Read More


How We Talk to Children

In July we took my great-granddaughter to Minnesota to visit her great-great grandparents.  Included in the mix of family present was my great-niece, Emmy.  She’s a bright, articulate, curious girl, and was completely mesmerized by the baby.  Being a typical four-year-old, she wanted to touch her new little cousin and find out all she could . . . Read More


Let’s Keep Moving

Things are moving and shaking at the Seed this summer.  When we designed our program this year, we wanted to make sure there was a strong movement component.  The summer heat often brings on a tendency toward being lethargic, so we decided to take a proactive approach.  We have regularly scheduled music classes once a . . . Read More


One Step at a Time

Last Friday morning was a popular time for water play, so the sand circle was flooded more extensively than normal.   I had the pleasure of being on duty for lunch recess and got in on some excellent water play action.  One thing I noticed right away was several children attempting to cross over the . . . Read More


Seeds of Success

Our new edition of The Harvest, the Seed’s yearbook, just arrived this week.  It’s full of happy student faces, quotes, and photos of their lively art collected from projects throughout the year.  Usually we dedicate the yearbook to a staff member.  This year, at the request of Krina (our editor), the dedication is different.  It . . . Read More


Friday Projects

I pay attention to patterns of three.  This week, as graduation photos and announcements started rolling in, a set of three caught my attention: future  engineers.  For decades I’ve held the belief that activities children engage in when they are young often surface in adulthood.  When I heard that three of our former Seeds were . . . Read More


Saving Seeds

Harvesting seeds is no easy task, especially for three-year-old fingers. In case you’re unfamiliar with kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cilantro seeds, they’re about the size of a small pin head. They mostly grow in long thin pods that only crack open easily when they are dry. There’s a purpose behind the tediousness of harvesting tiny . . . Read More


Public Transportation

I had a flashback on Tuesday morning.  Seeing the K-1 class with teachers and parents waiting at the bus stop on 40th Street, brought me back to the earliest years of the Seed when we had only a handful of young children.  It was the late 70s, and the father of one of our students . . . Read More


Seeds Blooming

 I can tell it’s spring, and it’s not just the weather.  All kinds of blooming is happening at the Seed.  I noticed dozens of pink and purple blossoms on our peach tree, and the apple tree has buds as well.  Things are blooming inside the building, too, as was evident in the K-1 class last . . . Read More


For Anybody and Everybody

It’s impossible for me to see wild geese and not think of Mary Oliver.  High above the Platte River on a wintry Nebraska day or passing through the desert at the change of seasons, the wild geese are poetry in action.  These words at the end of Oliver’s most famous poem, “Wild Geese,” have sustained me . . . Read More


An Honest Week’s Work

The Seed was infested with ants when we returned from spring break.  Not the kind of ants the PreK class is studying, human ants.  During our week off, Bill ordered fourteen tons of sand to be delivered.  The pile loomed by the swings and sand circle, inviting possibility.  Mobilization of the work force was in . . . Read More


Miracles of Multiage Learning

During my last seven years of teaching, I taught a multiage 4th/5th grade class.  They were some of my best and most memorable years as a teacher.  In fact, I’m still in touch with many of those students, who are now in their twenties.  Over the years, Awakening Seed has incorporated the multiage approach when . . . Read More


Ofrenda

The little altar under the tree caught my eye.  I saw it on my way out to Gwen’s Castle with the 3rd/4th graders the morning after Halloween.  We were headed to the castle as part of Día de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead.  For several weeks, many classes have been learning about this time . . . Read More


Project Approach, Phase Three

I always appreciate how things come together here at the Seed.  Sometimes we call it the Seed magic.  This week was no exception.  As we kicked off the final week of our nutrition study, we also held our first grandparent gathering on Monday.  Grandparents appeared from the Phoenix area, as well as San Diego, South . . . Read More


Project Approach, Phase Two

In case you thought Wednesday was a bad diaper day for the toddlers, you can be rest assured, it was merely the PreK’s batch of brussels sprouts baking in the oven.   We take our nutrition study seriously and that means stepping out of our comfort zone from time to time to try new tastes . . . Read More